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3 1924 083 530 117 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 






Mrs. S. E. F. Kobe 

Author of 

"The U. D. G.—Its Object and Mission" 
"The Confederate Picture Gallery" 
"Arlington — Its Past and Present" 

Published by 

L. Graham Co., Ltd., 

New Orleans, La. 


Copyright, 1914, 


MRS. S. E. F. ROSE, 

West Point, Miss. 

All rights reserved, including that of Dramatization 
and Translation into Foreign Languages. 


THIS book is dedicated by the author to the 
Youth of the Southland, hoping that a 
perusal of its pages will inspire them with 
respect and admiration for the Confederate soldiers, 
who were the real Ku Klux, and whose deeds of 
•courage and valor, have never been surpassed, and 
rarely equalled, in the annals of history. 


THE Ku Klux had no written history. Their 
Constitution declared, "That the origin, 
mysteries, and ritual, of this order shall 
never be written, but shall be communicated orally."' 
This secrecy was made necessary by existing condi- 
tions, and in no sense reflected 1 upon the bravery of 
its members, for they were the "bravest of the 
brave." Even at this late day, it is difficult to se- 
cure information in regard to this mysterious 
Brotherhood, and many books of reference contain 
false statements about the Klan. To give a detailed 
history of the Ku Klux Klan, would require many 
volumes, for Klans were formed in all the Southern 
States, and their membership reached large numbers, 
estimated at half a million, but in this book may be 
found true and authentic history answering the fol- 
lowing* questions: 

Who were the Ku Klux? Where did the Klan 
originate ? What was its object and mission ? 

For the purpose of giving the youth of our land 
true history about this remarkable organization, 
whose services were of untold value to the South, 
during a dark period of her history, this book is 
written. The facts herein contained are absolutely 
authentic, being recorded from the lips of the sur- 
vivors themselves. 

MRS. S. E. F. ROSE. 


THE Author acknowledges with deepest grati- 
tude the kind assistance of many Confederate 
Veterans and prominent men who were 
members of the Ku Klux Klan, who have furnished 
data and written incidents related in this book, also 
for the permission, so willingly given by Prof. Wal- 
ter L. Fleming, Professor of History in the Louisiana 
State University, and author of book, entitled 
"Ku Klux Klan," to use paragraphs and pictures 
from his book. Also to many noble Southern 
women and to the widows of those brave men, 
Major James R. Crowe, and Mr. John B. Kennedy, 
last surviving Charter Members of the Klan, who 
furnished valuable data and photographs. The 
Author has been bidden "God Speed" by Confede- 
rate Veterans, Sons of Confederate Veterans, 
Daughters of the Confederacy, in the preparation 
of this history, which is a complete vindication of 
the Ku Klux Klan borne out by facts that are ab- 
solutely authentic, and statements from men who 
were members of the Klan, whose integrity is un- 
questioned. This book goes out to the world with 
a mission to perform: "To bring these truths of 
history directly to the youth of our land." The 
Author prays that its mission will be accomplished. 
The attractive illustrations and true history should 
make interesting reading for young and old, and 
for all those who hold the glorious deeds of our 
Southern Heroes in everlasting remembrance. 


THIS Book was unanimously endorsed by the 
United Daughters of the Confederacy, in 
Convention assembled at New Orleans, La., 
November 12-15, 1913, and co-operation pledged 
to endeavor to secure its adoption as a Supplemen- 
tary Reader in the schools and to place it in the 
Libraries of our Land. 

A Resolution to endorse this Book was 
adopted, without a dissenting voice, by the Sons 
of Confederate Veterans at Reunion May 6-8, 
1914 at Jacksonville, Florida, and their efforts 
pledged to have it placed in the schools through- 
out the South. 

Chapter. Page, 
I. The En Klux Klan — Seasons for Its Ex- 
istence 13 

II. Where First Organized 18 

III. Original Letters of Last Two Surviving 

Charter Members 20 

IV. Members, and Objects of Klan 25 

V. Carpetbaggers — Scalawags — Negroes .... 30 

VI. Eeal and Bogus Klans 34 

VII. Departments and Officers 37 

VIII. Ku Klux Banner 39 

IX. Constitution, Creed and Oath 40 

X. Costumes and Parades 43 

XI. Notices and Warnings 48 

XII. Lessons Taught by the Ku Klux Klan 51 

an. Ku Klux Stories 53 

XIV. "Pen-Picture of a Ku Klux Escapade". . 55 

XV. "A Messenger of the Ku Klux Klan". . . 60 

XVI. The End of Eeconstruction . . . ; 68 

XVH. Disbandment 71 

XVIII. Closing Reflections 74 

Biographical — (General Nathan Bedford 

Forrest) 78 

General Nathan Bedford Forrest, Grand Wizard of 

the Ku Klux Klan, or Invisible Empire 3 

Photo of Major James R. Crowe, a Charter Member 

of the Klan 12 

Photo of Mr. John B. Kennedy, Charter Member of 

the Klan 23 

Home of Mr. Thomas Martin, where the Ku Klux 

held their first meetings 25 

Ku Klux Banner 37 

"Ole Black Mammy" 51 

"Ole Uncle Wash" 59 

Mississippi Ku Klux 67 

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Reasons For Its Existence. 

THE Ku Klux Klan, or the Invisible Empire as 
it was also called, was an organization formed 
at the close of the war between the States, 
during the period known as Reconstruction, for the 
purpose of protecting the homes and women of the 

The war terminated suddenly, and finally in the 
Spring of 1865. All resources of the Southern 
Armies were completely exhausted, and they laid 
down their arms as the result of being overpowered. 
General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of 
Northern Virginia at Appomattox, April 9, 1865, 
and this was quickly followed by all the other com- 
mands, so that in two months after the date of the 
surrender, there was not a Confederate soldier under 
arms throughout the entire South. The surrender, 
on the part of the Confederate armies, was uni- 
versal and sincere; there was no reservation, and 
no desire to continue the struggle in any way. 


Complete submission was given to the authority 
of the United States Government by all, those in 
official and private station as well. Notwithstanding 
this, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate 
States, was thrust into prison; other leaders of the 
Confederacy and distinguished citizens were arrested, 
and members of the Confederate Cabinet were 
forced to become exiles. 

The condition of the South was deplorable indeed. 
Business destroyed, farms gone to wreck, homes 
laid waste, many of the returning soldiers disabled 
and broken in health. There was a track of desola- 
tion and devastation, without a parallel in history, 
estimated fully five miles wide, from the Tennessee 
line through Georgia to Savannah, through South 
Carolina, by Columbia, to North Carolina, and the 
desolation in the valley of Virginia, if possible, was 

No money, no stock to work the ground, and 
nothing at hand with which to begin life again, so 
it seemed. Four million slaves suddenly emanci- 
pated, with no realization whatever of the responsi- 
bilities that freedom brought. 

Many negroes conceived tbe idea that freedom 
meant cessation from labor, so they left the fields, 


crowding into the cities and towns, expecting to be 
fed by the United States Government. So agricul- 
ture the chief means of support in the South, was 
at a standstill. Railroads and other means of trans- 
portation were almost wrecked, and chaos reigned 

To the general confusion was added a flood of 
adventurers from the North, called Carpet-baggers, 
who were not generally Northern soldiers ; but mere 
camp followers of the Northern armies; men im- 
bued with passions of the lowest order, settling in 
the South for the purpose of controlling the South- 
ern States by becoming leaders of the negro voters, 
the best class of white people being excluded from 
voting by the Reconstruction measures of Congress 

These men hated everything that bore the name 
"Southern," and at once began to inflame the 
negroes against their former masters. (They were 
told by these unprincipled men that the Southern 
people expected to put them back into slavery, and 
the United States Government was going to give 
every able-bodied negro man "Forty acres of land 
and a mule. 

In this demoralized state of affairs, in many in- 
stances, private property was seized, and taken pos- 


session of in the name of the United States Govern- 
ment. This was the situation, in 1865, at the 
South, exhausted, prostrated, disarmed, "overpow- 
ered, but not degraded." 

And yet Hope remained, for many of those brave 
heroes, — the Confederate Soldiers — who endured all 
the hardships of those four terrible years of war, 
were still left to protect, with their last drop of 
blood, their beloved Southland. 

These conditions, as described in the above lines, 
at the close of the War between the States, called 
into existence the Ku Klux Klan, and, this organiza- 
tion proved the solution of ^a problem that con- 
fronted the South during the dark days of Recon- 
struction, and relieved a situation fraught with more 
terrors than the war itself. 

The South was soon under what is known as the 
CarpetrBag Regime; men without principle were in 
power, and negroes, already demoralized by their 
freedom, were elevated to the highest positions. 

The Black and Tan Government, composed of 
Republican Carpet-baggers, home-made Yankees, or 
Scalawags, and ignorant and brutal negroes, now 
held full sway. 

Union Leagues, whose members were mainly 
negroes, and the lowest element of whites, were 


"hotbeds for engendering race strife, and negro equal- 
ity and plans to place the "black heels on the white 
necks." Orders from the Freedman's Bureaus were 
carried out by negro militia. In addition, there 
were the home Yankees, despicable traitors to the 
South, who were ready for any deed, no matter 
how dark, to curry favor with those in power.. 
The white men of the South were not allowed to 
vote or carry firearms, and no indignity was too 
great- to be offered them, or their families. 

The negro considered freedom svnonymmrs.with 
equality, and his greatest ambition was to marry a 
~WMe wife. Under such conditions the negro 
clothed with all authority and outnumbering the 
white, two to one, open resistance would have 
"meant instant death, or being sent to some Northern 
dungeon, there to languish and die, leaving loved 
ones exposed to dangers too terrible to contemplate, 
at the hands of these brutish despots, f Under such 
-conditions there was only one recourse left, to or- 
ganize a powerful Secret Order to accomplish what 
x:ould not be done in the open So the Conferedate 
soldiers, as members of the Ku Klux Klan, and fully 
equal to ally emergency, came agairTfo the rescue, 
and delivered -the South from a bondage worse than 



THE Ku Klux Klan had its birth in the town of 
Pulaski. Giles, County Tennessee, during the 
winter of l865-'66. There were six charter 
members, all having honorable records as Confede- 
rate soldiers. The word Ku Klux was really coined 
by them, being formed from the Greek word, "Ku- 
klos," meaning a circle. They added Klan, which 
made the name at once unique, mysterious, and 

Pulaski, the birthplace of the organization, is the 
county seat of Giles County, a town of importance, 
of culture and refinement, and at that time had a 
population of 3,000 or more. It was a town of 
churches, schools and colleges and not a community 
that would have produced desperadoes and cut- 
throats. It is well to note that the very concep- 
tion of the Ku Klux Klan was amid influences ele- 
vating and refining, and its charter members were 
gentlemen of education and refined tastes, and could 
not have conceived the organization of an order that 


had for its objects low purposes or brutal usages. 
Pulaski always, in a way, remained headquarters 
for the Klan, as many of the officers lived there, 
and the town was proud of being the birthplace of 
this great organization, which was destined to play 
such an important part in the history of the Recon- 
struction period, 1865 to 1870. 

The superstition of the negro! is well known, and 
through thi& element in his makeugThTKu Klux 
gainedranixoL They made the negroes believe that' 
they were the ghosts of their dead masters, and 
under the conviction 1 that if they did wrong, spirits 
from the other world would visit them; the negroes 
became, very quiet and subdued. 

The Klan spread rapidly, and in a year had 
reached such large numbers, it was found necessary 
to have some one of experience and influence to 
become the leader. v So General Nathan Bedford 
Forrest, the distinguished cavalry leader of the Con- 
federacy, was chosen. He took the oath in Room 
No. 10 of the Maxwell House, Nashville, Tennessee, 
in the fall of 1866, almost a year after the organi- 
zation of the Klan, and was made Grand Wizard 
of the Invisible Empire. General George W. Gor- 
don prepared the oath and ritual for the Klan. 





Sheffield, Ala., Oct. 25, 1908. 
Mrs. Laura Martin Rose, 

My Dear Madam: Your letter in regard to the 
origin and object of the Ku Klux Klan was received 
in due time. It affords me pleasure to comply with 
your request. I am glad to see the U. D. C. taking 
so much interest in getting a correct history of the 
eventful days of '61 to '65. You would, no doubt, 
be surprised to know the number of letters I receive 
from various parts of our country in regard to the 
Ku Klux Klan. The Order was organized in Pulaski, 
Tennessee, in the winter of 1865 and '66, in the 
office of Major Thomas M. Jones, by the following 
named men, all of whom had honorable records as 
Confederate soldiers: Richard R. Reed, John B. 
Kennedy, John C. Lester, Frank O. McCord, Cal- 
vin Jones and James R. Crowe. 

Frank O. McCord was the first Grand Cyclops; I 


Major James R. Crowe, one of the last two surviving charter 
members of the Ku Klux Klan, who died at Sheffield, Ala., July 
14, 1911. 


was the next officer in rank, which was Grand 
Turk. We held several meetings at the office of 
Judge Jones; then we held several meetings at the 
home ,of your grandfather, Mr. Thomas Martin. 
Afterwards, our regular den was made in the old 
residence of Dr. Benjamin Carter. The house had 
been wrecked by a tornado, only one room left, 
and that was hidden by the debris of the large build- 
ing. The house was supposed to be toasted, this 
served our purposes well, as we played, upon the 
superstitious, fend made them believe we were the 
spirits of dead Confederates. The word Ku Klux 
was coined by us. We chose the Greek word for 
circle, "Kuklos," as the name of our circle and 
afterwards called it Ku Klux, then added Klan and 
made it from that day -historical. The youngeri 
generation will never fully realize the risk we ran, 
and the sacrifices we made to free our beloved 
Southland from the hated rule of the "Carpet- 
bagger," the worse negro and the home Yankee. 
Thank God, our work was rewarded by complete 
success. After the order grew to large numbers, 
we found it was necessary to have someone of 
large experience to command. 
We chose General N. B. Forrest, who had joined 


our number. He was made a member and took 
the oath in the Room No. 10 of the Maxwell House 
at Nashville, Tennessee, in the fall of 1866, nearly 
a year after we organized at Pulaski. The oath was 
administered to him by Captain John W. Morton, 
afterwards Secretary of State, Nashville, Tennessee. 
There is only one besides myself of the original 
six who organized the Ku Klux Klan, Mr. John B. 
Kennedy, of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. If you will 
write to him he could give you more information. 
Trusting the sketch I have given you will help 
you in your work, 

I am, sincerely, your friend, 


Lawrenceburg, Tenn., March 15, 1909. 
Mrs. S. E. F. Rose. 

Dear Madam : Your kind letter reached me yes- 
terday, and I hasten to reply, for we old Ku Klux 
appreciate any interest manifested in our order. 
The Ku Klux Klans were composed of the very 
best citizens of our countrv: their mission was'to 
protect the weak and oppressed during the dark 
days of Reconstruction. To protect the women of 
fhe South, who were the loveliest," most noble and 


Mr. John Booker Kennedy, one of the last two surviving charter 
members of the Ku) Klux Klan, wiho died at Lawrenceburg, Tenn., 

FVhninrv IS 1013. 


best women in the world. The survivors are old 
-mermow, old with their memories of other days 
long past, to cheer them during life's twilight. 
They are proud they were Ku Klux, and could give 
aid to these dear Southern women again during the 
Reconstruction period, for it was a dark and dis- 
tressing era in our beloved Southland. We did 
nothing to make us ashamed ; our acts were always 
for the good of our country and those we loved. 
After the lapse of all these years, the survivors of 
the Ku Klux Klan are gratified to hear the verdict 
of many who say to us, "Well dorte ; you undoubt- 
edly saved the beautiful Southland during the Re- 
construction era." 

It is pleasing to us, for we did our duty as we 
saw it then; we are grateful for the kind apprecia- 
tion and interest of our people now. Pardon me 
for speaking once again of the dear Southern women, 
the heroines, who so bravely bore the heavy burdens 
and hardships of those long years of war. The 
world has never known lovelier, braver women 
than they were. They were ministering angels to 
the soldiers. They were our inspiration, and will 
live in our hearts forever. Their m'emory is a 
sweet benediction to our lives as we near the last 
river. We would say to younger women, teach 


your children to love and honor the memory of 
those noble women of the South, the women of the 

Wishing you much success in securing facts and 
truths for your history, 1 am willing to give you 
any information possible. 

Yours truly, 


Note : — The original letters, as per the above, are- 
the valued possessions of the author of this book : 

These letters from the pens of those charter mem- 
bers of the Ku Klux Klan, Major James R. Crowe 
and Mr. John B. Kennedy, contain the truth of his- 
tory, and nothing could prove more interesting, or 
more valuable in order to preserve the facts for 
future generations than these records from the pens 
of the last two surviving charter members of that 
mysterious brotherhood of men known as the Ku 
Klux Klan. 

Since these letters were written, both of these 
noble men, who served their country well, both in 
war and in peace, have crossed over the river of 
death, and their lips are now forever sealed, and 
these written words from them leave a record, deep- 
ly significant, and of priceless value. 



IT is for the sake of the home that almost all 
things are wrought and achieved. It was the 
home instinct that prompted the valiant Virgin- 
ians, the persistent Puritans, and the determined 
Dutch to dare the waves of an unknown and un- 
charted sea, and come to America, where they hoped 
to find an opportunity for the establishment of that 
for which their hearts yearned, a home. Upon these 
sacred principles, love and protection of home, was 
founded the Ku Klux Klan; and no organization 
ever held loftier ideas or nobler purposes. It was 
composed of the soldiers of the Confederacy, who, 
for four years, had thrilled the world with their 
deeds of courage and valor, and returning to their 
desolated homes, were forced to confront the war 
penalty imposed upon the States of the Confede- 
racy, slave confiscation and Reconstruction under 
African rule. 

At first this circle was formed for social pleasure 
and recreation, and on discovering that the queer 



costumes, the great secrecy and weird mystery 
operated on the minds of the ignorant and vicious 
negroes and undesirable whites, they turned their 
objects into more useful channels. The element of 
superstition in the negro, and the bold villainy of 
the depraved white man were appealed to, and the 
one was scared nearly to death, while the other 
gradually disappeared. The Ku Klux knew the 
character of the whites and blacks with whom they 
had to deal, and with each they used the needed 
treatment. Initiation into this order is said to have 
tried the souls of men, and tested their courage as 
no other secret order, before or since, has done. 
They bound themselves to allegiance to the laws of 
the United States. The question then arises, Why 
a secret organization? Because ex-Confederates 
were denied the 'right of ballot^ "the right to testify 
in the courts or to carjy firearms. There were 
negro soldiers, legislators and magistrates, and as 
negroes held all offices, the white men were com- 
pletely at their mercy, and they could tie them up 
by their thumbs whenever they chose, The only 
thing to do in order 'to preserve some form of just 
government and have some degree of freedom was 
to organize a compact secret body to do what 
openly they could not do. 


It is not to be inferred because the Ku Klux 
operated under the cover of darkness and disguise, 
that they were cowards, for their courage was of 
the highest order. But with the South disarmed, 
and under Carpet-Bag rule, to have acted in the 
open, would have been equivalent to offering their 
wrists for handcuffs, and being sent to some North- 
ern prison by the United States Marshal, there to 
slowly die of starvation or torture, thus leaving the 
women and children in the South to be subjected to 
insults from negroes; and scalawags, with no one to 
defend them. 

The Ku Klux were opposed to the shedding of 
human blood, and violence was never used except 
as a last resort. Repeated warnings were given to 
offenders, and it was only when they were not 
heeded, that the Ku Klux resorted to extreme 
measures. , 

It has been said that the methods of the Night 
Riders are similar to those of the Ku Klux Klan, 
but never was anything more erroneous. There is 
no similarity except, perhaps, the secrecy, the mov- 
ing at night and the masked figures, and there it 
ends. The methods of the Ku Klux Klan were 
generally peaceful and without undue destruction 


to life and property, and when its objects had been 
accomplished, there was no persecution, nor pillag- 
ing, nor hounding of anyone. ( And when tranquility 
was restored to the land, the Klan "folded their 
tents like the Arabs, and as silently stole away.^jf 

It is true that some negroes were killed by the 
Ku Klux, but in every instance, it was because they 
offered violent resistance. The Ku Klux would 
visit a negro who had been guilty of wrong doing, 
and who had been repeatedly warned to conduct 
himself in the proper manner, they would carry 
him out to give him a severe whipping as a punish- 
ment, and in order to scare) him into behaving him- 
self, and the negro would make an attack on the 
Ku Klux, who were then forced to kill him in self- 
defense, The truth about it would never be known, 
and the report would go out that the Ku Klux had 
murdered a negro in cold blood, the true facts in 
the case always being suppressed. As on the 
frontier, many crimes were charged to the Indians, 
which were really committed by some mean white 
men, so ihe Ku Klux got credit for many things 
they did not do^nd motives they never entertained. 

The following incident shows how the Ku Klux 
were feared, not only by the negroes, but Scala- 


wags and Carpet-baggers, as well. Down in Mis- 
sissippi, during the high tide of Reconstruction, a 
Carpet-bag Justice of the Peace was trying a white 
man for assaulting a negro. One of the Ku Klux 
leaders of that State walked into court, and placed 
a pistol on the table in front of him, and moved, 
"that .the court adjourn." It immediately did ad- 
journ, and that Justice never held court again, al- 
thought he remained in office more than a year 




HESE were the parties with whom the Ku 
Klux had to deal. fThe first were Radicals 
from the North who came South at the close 
of the war between the States, hoping to hold the 
reins of government. As they were backed up by 
all the power of the North, they had authority to 
do whatever they saw fit. No measures were too 
atrocious, no humiliation too great to be offered to 
the people of the South by these Carpet-baggers. 
The second were the Scalawags — also called in de- 
rision, the Home- Yankees. 

The Scalawags were of all men most detested. 
They were native born whites, miserable traitors 
to the South, and playing for favor with the suc- 
cessful side. They preached equality to fhe negroes, 
telling them 'that, "They were just as good, if not 
a little better, than the whites." They would march 
the negroes to the polls and make them vote, under 
a banner inscribed, "Down with Democracy." 


There might be some excuse for the negro, ignorant, 
his freedom suddenly thrust upon him, and crazed 
by a sudden elevation to power, but for these de- 
praved whites, who proved that a white skin does 
not always mtean a white man, there was no pos-, 
sible excuse. They made themselves the lowest of 
the low, and deserving of the contempt in which 
they were held by all, even the negroes themselves. 
It is impossible to portray in language how these 
Scalawags were detested, despised and ostracized. 
The great Irish orator and patriot, Emmett, once 
declared — "That the meanest of all mean things is 
an anti-Irish Irishman." If he had lived in the 
South during Reconstruction, he would have said, 
"That the meanest of all mean things is an anti- 
Southern Southerner." 

These two classes of negro leaders, the Scala- 
wags and Carpet-baggers, were the instigators of all 
the trouble in the South, the negroes being used by 
them simply as a means to an end, viz: to control 
their votes, and handle the reins of government for 
their own nefarious schemes. As to the third class 
mentioned in the heading, the negroes, many of 
them proved most faithful. Some followed their 
masters to the war, others remained with "ole 


Mistis and de Chillun," looking after their wants ar 
protecting them by every means in their powe 
Even after the war, many negroes declined to a 
cept their freedom, seeming to regard it as som 
thing thrust upon them which they neither apprec 
ated nor desired, and preferred to remain wil 
"their white folks." Even the promise of "Fort 
•acres and a mule"- held out to them by the Federa 
had no attraction for them, and they longed f< 
the "good ole days befo de war," when "Ole Mas: 
and ole Missis" looked after all their bodily ar 
Spiritual needs. These faithful negroes were calle 
"if >ld Confeds," a title of honor so they considere 
it, vind they were shown all consideration which the 
faithfulness deserved. If all the negroes had bee 
like these, the horrors of Reconstruction would ha-\ 
been averted. However, the majority of the negroe 
ignorant and credulous, dazed by the emolumen 
of office and rich rewards offered them becan 
tools in the hands of unscrupulous Scalawags ar 
office seekers. 

The negro population was largely iliterate, ar 
most of the negroes holding office during Recoi 
struction could neither read nor write, and yet the 
sat upon the petit and grand juries, were electa 


magistrates and constables when they did not know 
even the meaning of the words. \s members of 
the Legislatures, many of the negroes could only 
sign their pay rolls by means of signs and marks. 
This was the galling yoke that was to be thrust 
upon the necks of the white men of the South, in 
whose veins coursed the purest and best blood of 
the ages. Relief from this desperate and humiliat- 
ing condition came through the Ku Klux Klan and 
the South was redeemed from Carpet-Bag, Scala- 
wag and Negro rule. 



MANY outrages were committed in the name 
of the Ku Klux, by parties who did not 
belong to the Klan; reckless firebrands, 
with private hatreds to appease, and having the 
audacity to call themselves Ku Klux. Thus the 
impression was made that the Ku Klux were 
a set of vicious men with no regard for law 
and order, but these outrages were committed 
by bands of thieving Scalawags, who used the 
name as a cloak for their evil deeds. No genuine 
Ku Klux would have been guilty of a deed or an 
act that would bring the blush of shame to any 
brave or honorable man. They belonged to the best 
class of citizens, once soldiers of the Confederacy, 
who had only the best interests of society in view, 
and would scorn to 'do a meah^or cowaTdly "act. 
Nothing in connection with the war, or rather the 
period at the close of the war, known as Recon- 
struction Days, is of greater interest than the Ku 
Klux Klan. Its mystery was so fascinating, that 


stories of this great organization were always list- 
ened to with eagerness and delight. 

Those delightful books, "The Clansman," and 
its sequel, "The Traitor," given us by Thomas J. 
Dixon, have a most intense and thrilling interest. 
"The Clansman," places before us the real Klan, 
with its high and noble purposes, and shows the 
great good accomplished by them, while "The Trai- 
tor," in striking contrast, shows the bogus Klan and 
its many evil deeds, which inspired such a reign of 

The white robes of the original Klan, and the 
red robes of the spurious Klan leave a deep, vivid 
and lasting impression. The colors were deeply 
significant. White, the symbol of purity, was most 
appropriate for the real Klan, organized to protect 
the homes and liberties of the South, while red, al- 
ways the badge of bloodshed, anarchy and disorder, 
was most fitting for the bogus Klan, whose deeds 
were disgraceful and villainous. 

Be it said in justice to the real Ku Klux, that 
whenever the perpetrators of these villainous deeds 
were stripped of their disguise, it was found that 
they were not members of the Ku Klux Klan. 

So as a matter of justice and right, it is of the 


greatest importance to draw a strong line of de- 
markation between real and bogus Klans. If the 
author of this book had been given the privilege of 
selecting an appropriate emblem and motto for the 
real Ku Klux Klan, she would have chosen, "a 
shield on which was a wreath of oak leaves and 
in the center a white lily," the oak leaves represent- 
ing strength, and the lily, purity, typical of the 
strength of the organization, and the purity of its 
motives. And for the motto, "Virtus incendit Vires" 
— "Virtue kindles the strength." 



THE peculiar fascination ever attendant upon 
things mysterious, was always present with 
everything connected with the Ku Klux Klan. 
The Invisible Empire, as the territory under the con- 
trol of the Klan, was called, extended from Virginia 
to Texas and embraced about fourteen States. The 
Empire was subdivided into Realms; Realms into 
Dominions; Dominions into Provinces; and Pro- 
vinces into Dens; corresponding respectively to 
States, Congressional Districts, Counties and Towns. 
Each department had its head officer, their duties 
being definitely designated, except those of the 
Grand Wizard, the supreme officer, whose control 
was absolute.; 

The following is a list of officers and their de- 
partments in regular order: The Grand Wizard of 
the Invisible Empire, assisted by his ten Genii; the 
Grand Dragon of the Realm and his eight Hydras; 
the Grand Titan of the Dominion and his six 
Furies; the Grand Giant of the Province and his 



four Goblins; the Grand Cyclops of the Den and 
his two Night Hawks. A Grand Turk, Grand 
Monk, Grand Exchequer, Grand Scribe, and Grand 
Sentinel were officers in the local Dens. The Genii, 
Hydras, Furies, Goblins, Night Hawks were staff 
officers, and the private members were called 

The Dens, or places of rendezvous of the Ku 
Klux, were generally in obscure places, in the thick 
weeds, in caves, or delapidated buildings, devastated 
by time or storms, and given over to bats and owls. 
Their appearance was always so sudden, that they 
seemed to have risen from the ground, and their 
disappearance being equally sudden, the impression 
was left that the earth had opened and swallowed 
them up. These mysterious maneuvers were all 
conjured up in the brain of the Ku Klux and the 
weird and ghostly, the mysterious and unearthly, 
always predominated. 


*The abov,e is an exact duplicate of the banner used by the Ku 
Klux, made by directions in book entitled "Ku Klux Klan," by Prof. 
Walter h. Fleming. 



DIRECTIONS for making the Ku Klux Ban- 
ner was as follows: 
"The Grand Ensign or Banner of the Ku 
Klux shall be in the form of an isosceles triangle, 
five feet long and three feet wide at the staff. The 
material shall be yellow, with a red scalloped border, 
about three inches in width. There shall be painted 
upon it in black, a Dracovolans, or Flying Dragon, 
with the following motto inscribed on it : 
" 'Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus," 
'"What always, what everywhere, what by all, 
is held to be true.' " 

<i) Prom Prof. Walter L. Fleming's Book, "Ku Klux Klan," 
page 147. 



THE Ku KIux was distinctly a protective or- 
ganization. The character and objects of 
the order are set forth in their prescript, 
adopted at a convention of the order held at Nash- 
ville, in April, 1867, as follows: 

"This is an institution of Chivalry, Humanity, 
Mercy, and Patriotism : embodying in its genius and 
principles all that is chivalric in conduct, noble in 
sentiment, generous in manhood, and patriotic in 
purpose ; its peculiar objects being : First — To pro- 
tect the weak, the innocent, and the defenseless, 
from the indignities, wrongs and outrages, of the 
lawless, the violent and the brutal, to relieve the 
injured and oppressed, to succor the suffering and 
unfortunte, especially the widows and orphans of 
Confederate soldiers. Second — To protect and de- 
fend the Constitution of the United States, and all 
laws passed in conformity thereto, and to protect 
the States and the people thereof from all invasion 
from any source whatever. Third — To aid and 


assist in the execution of all constitutional laws, and 
to protect the people from unlawful seizure, and 
from trial except by their peers in conformity to 
the laws of the land."< 2 » 


The Creed of the Ku Klux Klan was as follows : 
"We, the Order of the Ku Klux Klan, reverent- 
ially acknowledge the majesty and supremacy of the 
Divine Being, and recognize the goodness and pro- 
vidence of the same. And we recognize our rela- 
tion to the United States Government, the Su- 
premacy of the Constitution, the. Constitutional 
Laws thereof, and the Union of States thereun- 
der."* 3 ' 


I, before the great immaculate God of heaven and 
earth, do take and subscribe to the following sacred 
binding oath and obligation : 

I promise and swear that I will uphold and defend 
the Constitution of the United States as it was 
handed down by our forefathers in its original 

' (2) From "Ku Klux Klan," by Prof. Walter L. Fleming, pg. 153. 
(3) From "Ku Klux Klan," by Prof. Walter L. Fleming, pg. 154. 


purity. I promise and swear that I will reject and 
oppose the principles of the Radical Party in all its 
forms, and forever maintain and contend that in- 
telligent white men shall govern this country. 

I promise and pledge myself to assist, according 
to my pecuniary circumstances, all brothers in dis- 

Females, widows, and their households, shall ever 
be specially in my care and protection. I promise 
and swear that I will obey all instructions given me 
by my chief, and should I ever divulge or cause 
to be divuldegd any secrets, signs or passwords of 
the Invisible Empire, I must meet with the fearful 
and just penalty of the traitor, which is death, death, 
death, at the hands of my brethren. (1) 

(l) The above, is one of three versions of the Oath of the Ku 
Klux Klan as given in Prof. Fleming's Book, pg. 197. They are 
all similar, but given from memory, as it is stated that the Oath 
was never printed. This version was from KU KLUX report, Nortih 
Carolina Testimony. Court Proceedings, pg. 422. 


* Used by permission of Prof. "Walter L. Flem- 
ing; appears in his book, entitled "KU KLUX 



THE fantastic costumes were intended to work 
upon, the superstitious fears of the negroes. 
No special instructions were given as to 
the color or makeup of these costumes, and 
each Ku Klux could give full play to his 
fancy in this regard, their aim being always 
to make them as grotesque as possible, so the 
costumes varied in different Klans. However, the 
robes always covered the entire body, and some- 
times consisted merely of a sheet, but white was 
always the favorite color, as it carried out the idea 
that the Ku Klux were ghosts or spirits. The horses 
were also covered with a mantle, usually of white. 
A cross of fiery red cloth stitched across the breast, 
a mask of white cloth, a high conical hat, formed 
the garb of a typical Ku Klux, and when mounted 
on a white steed, the vision was complete. Of 
course, beneath these robes they carried pistols 
strapped to their waists, and a favorite device to 



scare the negroes, was to wear false heads and 

In this instance, the robe would be pulled up 
oVer their own heads, and the false skull placed on 
top, and when asking the negro for a drink of water 
the Ku Klux would say, "Here Sambo, hold my 
head while I drink this water." On being handed 
the skull the negro would scream, and take to the 
woods, throughly convinced that he had seen the 
ghost of his dead master. When the false hand was 
used, the Ku Klux would proffer to shake hands, 
leaving the false hand with the negro as a souvenir 
to carry terror to his soul. 

These costumes were all made by the women of 
the South, those noble women, who in the war 
between the States, with their own fingers made 
the uniforms and knitted the socks for the Confede- 
rate soldiers, counting no sacrifice too great for 
these Southern heroes, so now they were ever ready 
to aid the Ku Klux in the efforts they were putting 
forth for their protection. A note to mother, wife, 
sister, sweetheart, for Ku Klux robes always met 
with a prompt response. 

There being no special uniform adopted by the 
Ku Klux accounts for the many different colors 


used, in some States white was used, and in others 
red and also black, likewise any disguise was per- 
missible, #nd down in Mississippi, one of the Grand 
Cyclops used a long white cow's tail for beard, and 
some of the boys called him "Old Grandpa Thun- 


Headquarters, K. K. K. 
"Anno Domini, 1868. 

Misses X and Y: Knowing you to be friends of 
the Ku Klux Klan, the Grand Cyclops takes the 
privilege of requesting you to make a couple of 
robes for some of his poor, needy followers, and 
if you will be so kind as to make them the protect- 
ing eye of the G. G. Cyclops will ever rest upon 
you. Thinking that you will make them, the fol- 
lowing are the directions: 

Make two robes reaching to the ground, open in 
front, bordered with white three inches wide, white 
cuffs and collars, half moons on the left breast with 
stars in the center of each moon, and caps of a 
conical shape twelve inches high with a, tassel, with 
white cloth hanging over the face so as to conceal 
it, and behind so as to hide the back of the head. 


Make the first of the caps red, the second and 
third white, and the rest red. By order of G. G. 


The Grand Turk will be after them on the night 
of the 15th, at 10 o'clock. 
You are requested to burn this after reading." (1) 


The Ku Klux had frequent parades, every detail 
being arranged so as to mystify and strike terror to 
the hearts of the bystanders. The first parade given 
in Pulaski, Tennessee, was on the night of the 4th 
of July, 1867; notices were scattered broadcast over 
the town and country and placed on trees and fences 
and on the backs of hogs and cows, and by nightfall 
the streets were lined with people, wondering and 
fearing. . 

The Ku Klux assembled in groups at the various 
roads leading into the town, donned their costumes 
quickly, which they had concealed under their 
coats, covered their horses with white or variegated 
colored mantles, blew their shrill whistles used as 

(1) Clipping from Nashville Banner. 


a signal to start, and then slowly and silently they 
marched and countermarched through the streets of 
the town, thus leaving the impression of great num- 
bers while in reality there were only a very few. 
This parade, which lasted for hours, made a great 
sensation. Not a word was spoken, and then at a 
signal from the leader, they quietly and secretely 
dispersed; their exit being as mystifying as their 
sudden appearance. The negroes were confirmed in 
their belief that they had seen the ghosts or de- 
parted spirits of their former "Ole Marsters," and 
no one being any the wiser as to who the Ku Klux 
were, where they came from, or where they went 
after the parade. 



THE Ku Klux Notices and Warnings were in 
keeping with their mode of carryjng on af- 
fairs; mysterious 1 and terrifying. Notices of 
meetings were usually accompanied by a Skull and 
Cross Bones, thus: 

Ku Klux Klan. *^wL^ Come fully armed ! ! ! 

Be at the Cemetery at 9 o'clock to-night ! ! ! ! ! 

And warnings to offenders by a picture of a fig- 
ure dangling from the limb of a tree, a coffin, or 
some gruesome emblem with a call to the negroes 
and Scalawags, "TO BEWARE." 


Serpent's Den — Death's Retreat. 
Hollow Tomb — Misery Cave of the 
Great Ku Klux Klan, No. 1,000. 
Windy Month — Bloody Moon, 
Muddy Night— Twelfth Hour. 


General Orders No. 1. 

Make ready! Make ready! Make ready! 

The mighty Hobgoblins of the Confederate Dead 
in a Hell a Bulloo assembled! 

Revenge, Revenge! 

Be secret, be cautious, be terrible! 

By special grant, Hell freezes over for your pas- 
sage. Offended ghosts, put on your skates, and 
cross over to mother earth ! 

Work! Work! Work! 

Double, double, toil and trouble; 

Fire burn and cauldron bubble. 

Ye, white men who stick to black beasts! 

The time arrives for you to part. Q. W. X. W. 
V. U. and so from Omega to Alpha. 

Cool it with a baboon's blood 

Then the charm is firm and good. 

Ye niggers who stick to low whites! 

Begone, Begone, Begone! The world turns 
around, — the thirteenth hour approacheth. 

S,-one, two and three— Beware ! White and Yel- 

J, and T — ^— P and L — — begone.— -The 

handwriting ort the wall warns you ! 


From the murderer's gibbet, throw 
Into flame come high and low. 
By order of the Great 

G. S. K. K. K™ 
A true copy, 
P. S. K. K. K. 

(l) The above appears in x Prof. Fleming's Book. "Ku Klux 
Elan," pg. 190, with other General Orders of the Ku Elux and a 
note states that they were by Ryland Randolph, and printed in 
his paper, "The Independent Monitor," of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 



MANY instances could be related of the good 
done by the Ku Klux, for, \n every instance, 
they protected the just rights of the negro 
as well as the whites, and they stood always for the 
protection of the menaced life, liberty, and property, 
of all innocent men. The record of the Ku Klux 
Klan teaches forcibly three lessens, 'which are so 
plain that he who runs may read. First, the in- 
evitability of Anglo-Saxon Supremacy; when har- 
assed by bands of outlaws, thugs, carpet-baggers, 
and guerillas, turned loose on the South and upheld 
by political machinery, during the Reconstruction 
period, the sturdy white men of the South, against 
all odds, maintained white supremacy and secured 
Caucasian civilization, when its very foundations 
were threatened within and without. Second, a 
new revelation of the greatness and geniusj3f_Gene- 
ral Nathan Bedford Forrest, the "Wizard of the 
Saddle," the great Confederate cavalry leader. As 
Grand Wizard of the Invisible Empire, to his splen- 



did leadership was due, more than to any other 
thing, the successful carrying out of the high and 
noble purposes of the real Ku Klux Klan. 

Third, the grandeur of the character of the "Men 
who wore the Gray," the Confederate soldiers, the 
real Ku Klux. They were not only great in war, 
but great in peace, and great in the performance of 
every Duty, which Robert E. Lee, the mightiest 
military chieftain the world ever saw, pronounced, 
"The sublimest word in the English language." 




HOW delightful and enchanting were the tales 
of the Ku Klux, as told by some old black 
negro Mammy, before a blazing wood fire, 
and told in a sepulchral whisper, that made the cold 
chills play up and down the back, and the marrow 
almost freeze in one's bones. She would tell you, 
"These silent riders were sixteen feet tall, with fiery 
eyes, and unquenchable thirst, never being satisfied 
with less than two buckets of water for a drink, 
and, "honey-chile, dey wuz de awfulles' sight you 
ever seed in yo' life; and, honey-lam', be good if 
you don't the Ku Klux will git you." The gro- 
tesque costumes, masks, high, conical hats, robes all 
of white, with red crosses on theif breasts, and seen 
at the dead hour of midnight, were enough to 
frighten anyone, white or black; and the darkies 
just declared, "Fore Gawd," the Ku Klux came 
straight from the bad place. "Old Uncle Wash," 
always interesting in his stories in the Taylor-Trot- 



wood Magazine, gives in one issue the story of his 
first vision of the Ku Klux. 

"De niggers wuz all down to the meetin' house, 
holdin' one of dese heah distracted meetin's. De 
moon wuz ashinin', when we seed fru de church 
winders some ghost-men on some ghost-hosses 
comin' outen de woods, one behind de yudder. Dey 
come slow an' solum-like, an' dat night I seed my 
fust Ku Klux, an' ebery nigger dar seed um, too, 
an' dey nebber will forgit um. Dem black niggers 
wuz skeered so bad dat night, dey skin turned white, 
an' de kinks all come outen dey har. Den de 
leader, he rid up to de church 1 do' an' de niggers all 
said, 'Hit's de angel on de fiery steed,' but I said, 
'No, hit's Ole Massa dat wuz kilt in de war.' Den 
de ghost-man, in a low, deep voice, an' pintin' wid 
his long, bony finger at de watah-bucket, said, 'A 
drink, please, I haint had no watah since I was kilt 
in de fust battle of Manassas.' 'Gawd, I sed so, 
hit's Ole Marster done riz from the de grave. Nig- 
gers, quit yo' lyin' an' yo' meanness, an' prepare to 
meet yo' Gawd.' " 




January 28, 1911. 
Mrs. S. E. F. Rose, 

West Point, Miss. 

My Dear Mrs. Rose : I was truly glad to receive 
a copy of your truthful history, of the Ku Klux 
Klan. I had to laugh at "Qle Wash's" exclama- 
tions, as he caught his first glimpse of the Genii, 
and the Ghouls. 

Jt called up to my memory's vision a scene that 
I was a participant in, soon after our den was 
formed. It was in the northwest corner of Hinds, 
and southwest corner of Madison Counties, on Big 
Black River, joining Yazoo County. Seven of us 
had rubber suits made, just the shape of men, pliant 
and strong. Each rubber would hold thirteen buckets 
(the old fashion wooden kind) of water. These 
rubber, man-shaped bags were lighty strapped to 
our bodies, and rested in front of us, on our sad- 
dles. At the pedal extremities were faucets, by 
which we could turn the water out, as soon as we 



had filled thefn. 3ust under our chins, was a: toler- 
able stiff funnel, that served as a head, of our 
rubber man bag. There were several small tubes 
in this funnel that permitted the air to escape, as we 
seemingly drank from the buckets of water offered. 
The air escaping from these tubes would sound 
exactly like the steam escaping from an over-heated 
boiler, and could be heard for a hundred feet or 

We had true and tried negroes, who had been 
with us, and ministered to our wants, faithful as 
Newfoundland dogs to their trusts. These negroes 
were our spies. They would tell us where the 
negroes, Scalawags, and Carpet-baggers, were going 
to hold their meetings, and "Pow Wows," as they 
were called. Upon the night the meeting took 
place, we would be there. 

I will give you a pen picture of one of our es- 
capades. The meeting was in Colonel John W. 
Robinson's quarter lot, near where Robinson's well 
is now located, in Madison County, Mississippi. It 
was a beautiful, clear, bright night; the autumn 
moon was at her full. Seven of us, fully rigged, 
in all our weird regalia, rode in single file about 
one hundred yards apart. We used the cry of night- 


birds, or animals for our signals in approaching the 
camp, or meeting place, of the enemy. This par- 
ticular night I was in front and rode right up to 
the well at the south end of the quarter lot. The 
well was about 100 feet deep. Two' buckets were 
. used in drawing the water : one at each end of 
the rope running over a pulley, just over the center 
of the well. 

Two trap doors covered the well, and as the 
bucket coming up full of water would strike these 
trap doors, they were lifted by the bucket ascending; 
and as soon as the bucket was clear of them-, they 
would drop back and close the well ; and the bucket 
lowered back, upon them, and the full bucket 
emptied. As I rode up there were about one hun- 
dred negroes around this well, and in the quarters 
were several thousand negroes, yanks, and scala- 

The negroes were laughing, and making a noise, 
that could be easily heard half a mile away. When 
I came in sight, there was dead silence around the 
well. I rode straight up ; an old white haired negro 
had just drawn a bucket and it rested on the cov- 
ering of the well. In a deep, sepulchral tone, I said, 
"Uncle Tom, give me a drink of water, I have not 


had one since the first battle of Manassas." He 
poured the water into a bucket, and handed it up; 
and down I poured it into my seemingly open 
mouth. The escaping air sounded like steam escap- 
ing from a surcharged boiler. I called for another, 
and another, until I had disposed of my thirteen 
buckets. The eyes of the negroes in that crowd 
were stretched in abject terror; and they were as 
dumb as oysters. I repeated my dringing feat at 
the other well, at the north end of the quarter lot ; 
and my place was taken at the south well by an- 
other of the Ghouls, until seven of us had received 
twenty-six buckets each. 

For long years afterwards, after nightfall, not a 
negro could be induced to go to one of these wells 
that we had visited; and before the last one of us 
on one of these night rides had been watered, not 
a white man or negro, who did not live in these 
quarters, could be found within a mile of them v 
Such a stampede as would take place, beggars my 
powers of description. The farther they got from 
the scene, the greater became their fears; and the 
more rapid their flight; for distance, in reality, 
seemed to lend enchantment to their view. 

We could rest assured, that there would never be 


another "Pow Wow," in any quarter lot, church, or 
gathering place, that the Ku Klux Klan had paid a 

Very respectfully, and truly yours, 

Lyon, Mississippi. 



THE incident related below illustrates a feature 
in regard to the Ku Klux Klan that is not 
generally known, that is, that messengers 
were sent from one Klan to another, keeping the 
Klans in close communication. There was at all 
times perfect co-operation between the various 
Klans, and it was sometimes necessary to get as- 
sistance from a Klan at a distance, so as to protect 
those in the neighborhood who were Ku Klux, so 
messengers were sent. This was considered a post 
of great honor, as only those of unquestioned brav- 
ery were chosen, but the honor was attended by 
grave dangers. In the following article, Dr. C. 
Kendrick, of Alcorn County, Mississippi, was the 
messenger described therein, and it was written by 
him some years ago, and published in "The Herald," 
of Corinth, Mississippi, over the Nom de plume, 
"Elsie Vane." It possesses great historical interest, 
and this copy was given to the author by Dr. Kend- 
rick for publication in this book. 


"It was in the sad and awful days of Reconstruc- 
tion, on a warm afternoon, in the month of June, 
in the State of Mississippi. A solitary horseman 
was slowly galloping along the road, the sun was 
fas> sinking below the western horizon and the 
shadows were growing long across the lane. The 
sweet little song-birds had ceased to sing, and had 
gone to roost on the branches of the forest trees. 
Not far away an owl hooted, possibly signaling to 
his mate, possibly rejoicing in the hope that he 
would soon make a meal off some of the birds so 
numerous about him. The horse was almost white, 
but had a dark mane and tail, and he showed by 
his gait that he had traveled far and was very tired. 
The messenger was a young man, whose face was 
almost girlish. It was evident that he was too 
young to have been a soldier in the great war, the 
memory of which was fresh and burning in the 
hearts and minds of all Southerners. There was 
nothing peculiar about his dress, and he might 
have been taken for a farmer boy or a stu- 
dent "just let loose from school." But a stu- 
dent of physiognomy might have seen written 
in his face and in his eyes, a purpose, and 
a will to execute that purpose. In front of him lying 


across his saddle was a short-light double-barrel shot- 
gun, in his belt was a pistol of heavy calibre, which 
had done service in the great war. Doubtless the 
young man had read how Colonel R. J. Harding 
(who was the first man to grasp the bridle of Gene- 
ral Lee's horse at the Battle of the Wilderness, when 
the soldiers shouted, "Lee to the rear") had saved 
his own life by means of a concealed deadly der- 
ringer when he was captured and about to be mur- 
dered by two of his enemies. Perhaps he had read 
how Major Lamar Fontaine and other great soldiers 
had secured freedom by concealed small weapons, 
for deftly concealed about his person was a small, 
but deadly, revolver, which he thought he might 
sometime have occasion to use. 

He had under him a pair of large leather saddle 
bags, which seemed well filled. As night drew on 
he began to look carefully at the thickets on the 
road side, presently he looked searchingly behind 
him and entered the jungle. The horse which en- 
tered the jungle was white, almost white, but not 
perfectly so; the horse which came from it looked 
entirely white, but a close inspection showed that 
it was covered with white canvas, from head to 
heels. The horseman was the same who had a 


few moments before entered the jungle, but won- 
derfully changed in appearance. He seemed much 
larger and taller and was dressed in a robe of red, 
with a snow-white border, while on top of his head- 
dress was a star, and his eyes and mouth might 
have been taken for those of a master mechanic 
of the Dark Regions. The same gun lay in front 
of him which we saw a few moments before, but 
he held it in a different manner. It was not lying 
loosely and carelessly in front of him as before, but 
two fingers of the right hand rested on the triggers 
and the thumb was ready to draw back the ham- 
mers in a trice if it seemed necessary. The sun had 
set, the large stars had begun to twinkle, and the 
young moon, almost at its first quarter was begin- 
ning to shine overhead. 

Doubtless the young man remembered a shot 
from ambush, which sent a deadly missile danger- 
ously near him only a few days before, and he 
wished to be. ready for such an emergency in the 
future. We may imagine the thoughts of the young 
man while he was riding along the lonely road, 
knowing not when a concealed enemy might shoot 
from ambush. He remembered how, during the 
great war, his widowed mother had been abused, 


threatened and robbed of valuable jewelry worn on 
her person, while the fiend held a cocked pistol al- 
most touching her throat. His father, on his death- 
bed, left a beautiful watch to his only sister, then 
only five years old, which his mother wore con- 
tinually around her neck. He also remembered how 
his, dead father's portratit had been stabbed and cut 
with a dagger. He knew these men were not the 
brave men from the Northern States, who were hon- 
estly fighting for what they believed to be right, 
but fiends who were too cowardly to attack a live 
man in the open. He knew that the men who did 
these deeds, although members of the Union Army, 
were men of our country, some of them almost 
neighbors. He felt keenly this degradation and he 
made a vow that the world was too small for these 
men and himself if he ever recognized them. Like 
all other boys, for he was but a boy, his thoughts 
went out to some girl, somewhere, but with a frown 
he would put the thought from him as soon and 
as far as possible, for he had other work before 
him. He remembered how he and others had vowed 
to help each other in the work of bringing to jus- 
tice these fiends, in human shape, who were heaping 
all kinds of indignities on the helpless women and 


children of the South. Thinking of all these things, 
he grasped his gun closer, and ever and anon he 
would lay his hand on his large pistol as if to make 
sure it was in its proper place in his belt, which he 
wore around his waist. Perhaps half an hour passed 
after changing his costume when he stopped, look- 
ing behind, in front, to the right and to the left. 
Then raising a small silver whistle, which hung 
around his neck by a silken cord, to his lips, he 
blew it quickly, short and sharp, three times, then 
pausing a moment and repeated the performance. 
Instantly the signal was answered from the jungle 
not far away. The young man rode slowly to the 
place from whence the signal came. Presently a 
sentinel ordered him to halt, presenting his gun. 
Then a horseman dressed in robes of red, decorated 
in white and red, rode forward and asked if he had 
the countersign. When he approached to receive 
it the sentinel held his gun in readiness for action 
should occasion demand it. The countersign was 
satisfactory, and the horseman said, "Come," and 
they rode together a little way and entered a small 
clearing. There, men were assembled, whose ages 
ranged anywhere from seventeen to sixty-five years. 


"From the gray sire, whose trembling hand, 
Could hardly buckle on his brand 
To the raw boy, whose shaft and bow 
Were yet scarce terror to the crow." 

Some were lying on their shawls, some sitting on 
the ground, some standing and a little beyond the 
clearing, which was not larger than half an acre,, 
were some twenty-five or thirty horses, and several 
men guarding them. The stranger stood in the 
Rendezvous of the Ku Klux Klan. The Grand 
Cyclops arose from his seat on a stump and asked 
who he was. The mounted sentinel answered that 
the stranger was "a messenger with the counter- 
sign." The Grand Cyclops turned to the young 
man and asked what he desired of them and who 
he was. -He replied that he was Number 89, and 
that he bore a message from' a neighboring Ku Klux 
Klan. Saying this, he bowed and handed the Grand 
Cyclops a folded paper. The Grand Cyclops 
handed the folded paper to the Grand Scribe with 
one word, "Read." The Grand Scribe strikes a 
match, lights a candle, which he always carried, and 
read the message. It was a request from a Ku Klux 
Klan ten miles or more away, to come at once and 
carry out the sentence which their Klan had passed 
on the perpetrator of an awful crime. The mes- 

(In full uniform.) 

The picture on the right (the erect picture with small 
-pistol in the belt) is Dr. Carroll Kendriek, of Alcorn 
County, Mississippi. 

N*ote. — This is said to be the only picture extant, 
taken from life during the Ku Klux times, and is loaned 
-for use in this book by Dr. Kendriek. 


■sage stated that proof was positive and the identi- 
fication complete. The Grand Cyclops placed a 
silver whistle to his lips, similar to the one carried 
by the messenger, and gave one long, loud, sharp 
whistle, and instantly every man arose, went to his 
Tiorse, and in less than ten minutes every man and 
every horse was disguised like the messenger and 
his horse, and they were ready to move. In a few 
minutes the Grand Cyclops blew a peculiar note 
•on his whistle, and every man rode off. Not a 
word was spoken, the orders were made with the 
whistle. Woe to the wretch who had fallen under 
the condemnation of the Ku Klux Klan! 

The messenger proceeds quietly to a neighbor's 
"house, where he spends the night, for he must be 
able to prove that he was not with the . Klan that 
night, that he was miles away on other business. 

We will not follow the Klan. They are on a mis- 
sion of duty, and a deed of justice is about to be 
-performed. Such acts as this, such deeds of mercy 
saved the South in her time of sorest need. 

Let the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but 
the truth be told about the Ku Klux Klan, and it 
will be regarded an honorable organization even by 
those who now have the worst possible opinion of 
it. Signed "ELSIE VANE." (By C. Kendrick.) 



THE Reconstruction period was now rapidly 
approaching its close. 
Reconstruction Days, called most appro- 
priately, "Destruction Days," by a prominent 
Southern writer, formed a dark and distressing era 
in the history of the South. In the dark clouds that 
lowered over the Southland during Reconstruction, 
the Ku Klux Klan made the only rift in the sky, 
letting in the blessed sunlight of Heaven. In spite 
of "Force Laws," "Anti-Ku Klux Statutes" and 
"Militia Laws," the Klan pursued the even tenor of 
its way, and investigations by Congressional and 
other committees revealed very little of a tangible 
nature about the Ku Klux. 

The sworn secrecy and binding oath made a bul- 
wark of defense as strong as the rock of Gibraltar. 
Many of the secrets of the order were locked up in 
the breasts of the Ku Klux, and died with them. 
One Southern Governor was impeached for refus- 
ing to recognize Writs of Habeas Corpus for al- 


leged members of the Ku Klux Klan. However, the 
very secrecy necessary for the existence of the Klan, 
made it possible for vicious persons to operate under 
the disguise of the Ku Klux, to wreak private ven- 
geance and hatreds. 

It would be very unjust and unfair to place upon 
the real Ku Klux the odium of these evil deeds, 
which were deeply regretted by them, but impos- 
sible to control. No unbiased student of history 
can fail to admit that the conditions of the times 
called for organized effort, to take offices out of 
incompetent and mischievous hands, to protect the 
women of the South from brutal assault, and to 
maintain, the supremacy of the white race. 

The conceptions, aims and purposes of the origi- 
nal Ku Klux Klan were bom of the loftiest senti- 
ments that can animate the human heart. In the 
course of events, the days of Reconstruction were 
destined to end, the Ku Klux Klan had accomplished 
a great work, its mission was ended, and the time 
for disbandment had come. 

So, following the command of their leader, this 
great organization was soon to be no more, and the 
Ku Klux then would renew their efforts to repair 
the waste places, and to upbuild their homes made 


desolate by the war between the States, and Days 
of Reconstruction covering a period of nearly ten 
long years. How well they succeeded, making the 
South rise "Phoenix-like from her ashes, and blos- 
som as the rose," subsequent history has fully re- 

The Ku 1 Klux Klan is part of the South's history, 
and no record could be complete that failed to in- 
clude the history of this truly wonderful organiza- 



IN February, 1869, General Nathan Bedford For- 
rest, Grand Wizard of the Invisible Empire, is- 
sued a Proclamation to his subjects to disband; 
and this strange and mysterious order having ac- 
complished its great mission, in relieving the South 
from the galling yoke of Carpet-Bag rule, passed 
out of existence forever. The order for disband- 
ment included instructions to burn all regalia and 
paraphanalia, banners, etc. The disbandment has 
been thus described: 

''In Nashville, just before disbandment, the Clans- 
man, in full Ku Klux regalia, paraded through the 
streets, and although the Capitol was in charge of 
three thousand Reconstruction Militia, and two hun r 
dred police, who were sworn to take every Ku Klux 
dead or alive, the boldness of the Ku Klux so dumb- 
founded the police, that the silent horsemen rode 
through the lines without being molested. Straight 
up Capitol Hill they marched and then down again, 
not a word was spoken, and once outside the city, 



they entered the shadows of the forest. Down its 
dim aisles, lit by threads of moonbeams, the horse- 
men slowly wound their way to the appointed place. 
For the last time the Chaplain led in prayer, the 
men disrobed, drew from each horse his white 
mantle, opened a grave and scfeminly buried their 
regalia, sprinkling the folds with the ashes of their 
burned ritual. 

In this weird ceremony ended the most remark- 
able Revolution in m'any respects, in history. The 
Ku Klux Klan was born in m(ystery, lived in mys- 
tery, and mystery will ever shroud its grave." 

Quoting from the writings of Major Lamar Fon- 
taine, of Mississippi, "No tales of the Arabian Nights, 
no legend of the 'Border Land of Scotia,' nor of 
Richard Couer de Leon, in the land of the Moselm, 
when the Cross and Crescent, contended for su- 
premacy in the Holy Crusades, can rival in heroic 
courage and daring, the romantic deeds of valor, 
performed by this mighty Invisible Army of the 
white men of the, South. Here in all ages to come 
the Southern romancer and poet will find inspira- 
tion for story and song. That Invisible Army gave 
back to its beloved land much that she lost during 
four years of the bloody carnival of death, that 


landed upon her fair form in the early sixties. Re- 
stored the majesty and grandeur, that were hers, 
and that was the envy of the nations of all the world 
in days gone by. No nobler or grander men ever 
gathered on this earth than those assembled in the 
meeting places of the Klan. No human hearts were 
ever moved with nobler impulses or higher aims of 
purpose. The maintenance of law and order, the 
preservation of the home, the protection of the 
virtue of the noblest womanhood in all the annals 
of time, moved these men to action. 

In the courts of this invisible, silent, and mighty 
government, there were no hung juries, no laws 
delayed, no reversals, on senseless technicalities by 
any Supreme Court, because from its Court there 
was no appeal, and punishment was sure and swift, 
because there was no executive to pardon. After 
the negro had surrendered to the Ku Klux Klan, 
which he did by obeying their orders to the very 
letter, — for they feared that organization more than 
the devil and the dark regions, — the Invisible Em- 
pire vanished in a night, and has been seen no more 
by mortal man on this earth." 



THE younger generation should know the true 
history of the Ku Klux Klan, and have the 
proper respect for this organization, which 
did so much for the South in her dark days. Chil- 
dren will be told all the false things concerning it, 
sot we should see to it that they are told the truth. 
Encyclopedias, books of reference, and some his- 
tories, are full of false statements about the South, 
and information about the South's part in the Wlar 
between the States, is very meager and unsatisfac- 

Our Southland, so conscious of her rectitude, so 
firm in her belief that she was "constitutionally and 
eternally right," and so proud of the heroism of her 
sons, has not felt the great necessity of vindicating 
her acts, but it behooves us now to see that the 
searchlights are turned on her part in the war, and 
let the world know the truth of her history. 

Too long have we of the South remained silent, 
and perhaps our silence has been construed as an 



acknowledgment of shame of being connected with 
the Ku Klux Klan and its history, whereas it should 
be our proudest boast, as it was organized and kept 
up by our best and noblest men, who had proven 
their worth and valor on so many battlefields, and 
who preserved the purity and domination of the 
Anglo-Saxon race. 

Some day when the South comes to her own, 
when her magnificent resources have been developed 
and the riches of her mountains and her valleys 
drawn forth, there will be many great and good 
things to be said of her history. Men will never 
tire of speaking of this land of romance, so dif- 
ferent in many essential respects from the rest of 
the country; and women will read, with joy and 
tears, the story of her long fought battle for su- 
premacy. But when the tale is all told, and the 
history of her labors in war and in peace has been 
recounted, no brighter chapter in all her history, no 
fairer page will ever be read, than that which tells 
of that illustrious and glorious organization called 
the "Ku Klux Klan." 

We should ever regard our history as a priceless 
heritage, cherish and keep green the traditions of 
the old South, keep alive its chivalrous spirit, and 


never tire of telling the story of those lion-hearted 
men, who made this history for us, and around 
whose names cluster some of the greatest events 
of the past. Gladstone, the great English statesman, 
said, "No greater calamity can befall a people than 
to break utterly with its past ; and if we forget our 
ancestors we ourselves are unworthy to be remem- 

When the great Napoleon had landed his forces 
on Egyptian soil and formed them in battle array, 
lifting his hand high in the air and pointing to the 
Pyramids, he exclaimed: "Soldiers, forty centuries 
behold you," and when we realize to-day, the valor 
of our noble sires and grandsires, the beauty and 
culture of our mothers and grandmothers are be- 
holding us, we should indeed feel that we are tread- 
ing on holy ground. The history they have made 
for us is our most precious and priceless heritage. 
The very name "Ku Klux Klan" holds one spell- 
bound. It is strange, weird, mysterious, fascinating. 
Formed from the Greek word, "Kuklos," meaning 
a circle, the name was prophetic of the great mission 
of) the Klan, for it indeed formed a circle of protec- 
tion around the homes and women of the South and 
brought them through the dark shadows of Recon- 


struction Days, safe and unharmed. Let us think, 
then, of the Ku Klux Klan as a great circle of light, 
illuminated with deeds of love and patriotism, and 
holding within its protecting and shining circle, the 
very life and welfare of our beloved Southland. 

In the midst of that dark drama, known as Re- 
construction Days, a ray of light appears, the star 
of hope gleams again through the dark clouds, by 
which it had been obscured. The Ku Klux Klan, 
the great, silent organization of the '60's, appears 
upon the scene, with its avowed purpose to pre- 
serve and uphold the white civilization of the South. 
It was a creation born of necessitous times, of pure 
and patriotic impulses, and to relieve a dire and 
humiliating distress. 

The Ku Klux Klan has been justly called, "the 
salvation of the South," and its history should be 
written in letters of light. 



A BRIEF biography of this great General will 
not be amiss in this book, for his record in 
the service of the Confederacy, as well as 
during the period of Reconstruction, shows that he 
was not only great in War, but great in Peace. 

It should be borne in mind, by the readers of 
this book, especially by our young people, that 
General Forrest, the intrepid Confederate Cavalry 
Leader, called "The Wizard of the Saddle," was 
also the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, with the title, 
"Grand Wizard of the Invisible Empire": as the 
Klan was also called. 

His high standing as a Confederate officer, his 
devotion to his country, his noble principles and 
sacred honor pledged to protect the South, puts 
at naught forever any false statements as to the 
purposes of the Klan, and challenges any stigma or 
misrepresentations as to the character of its mem- 
bers, for they were in the main Confederate sol- 
diers, and Forrest was its great leader, and under his 
leadership and with the loyalty of the members, 

Grand Wizard of the Ku Ivlux Klan, or Invisible Empire. 

This photo furnished by grandson of the great General, Adjutant 
General Nathan Bedford Forrest, United Sons Confederate "Veterans. 


1he Mission of the Ku Klux Klan, or Invisible Em- 
pire, was successfully accomplished. 

Nathan Bedford Forrest was born in Bedford 
County, Tennessee, July 13, 1821. His father 
moved to Marshall County, Mississippi, in 1834. 
General Forrest died at Memphis, Tennessee, Octo- 
ber 29, 1877. 

At the outbreak of the War between the States, 
he entered the Confederate service, and rose step 
by step from the position of a private in the ranks, 
to. that of Lieutenant-General. 

He entered June 14, 1861, as a private in White's 
Mounted Rifles, and obtained authority to raise a 
regiment of cavalry, the equipment for which he 
purchased at his private expense at Louisville, Ky. 

He was placed in command of the Confederate 
Cavalry at Fort Donelson, February, 1862, and dis- 
tinguished himself in this conflict. When surrender 
was decided upon, not being willing to agree to the 
terms dictated by the Federals, he led his men out 
through the enemy's lines. 

He took an active part in the Battle of Shiloh, 
April 6-7, 1862; was there wounded, but refused 
to leave the field until the safety of the army was 
assured. He was promoted Brigadier-General July 


21, 1862. During the movement in Kentucky, he 
hung upon the flank of Buell's Command, protected 
Bragg's retreat, and while the army was in winter 
quarters, covered the Federal front at Nashville, 
doing damage continually to the enemy. 

In 1863 he entered Tennessee, and with less than 
one thousand men captured McMinnville, and sur- 
prised the garrison of two thousand at Murfrees- 
boro, capturing all the survivors of the fight. 

General Streight, in his Cavalry raid to Rome, 
Georgia, was pursued by General Forrest, whose 
demand for surrender was so imperative, that 
Streight turned over his entire command, which was 
so much larger than that of General Forrest, he had 
to press into service many of the citizens to help 
form an adequate guard. 

At the Battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, 
1863, General Forrest also rendered distinguished 
service, but became so dissatisfied at the incom- 
pleteness of the Confederate victory, he tendered 
bis resignation. However, this was not accepted, 
and further promotion was given him, and he was 
made Major-General, placed in command of all 
Cavalry, in North Mississippi and West Tennessee, 
and made the guardian of the Granary of the Con- 


With a small force, he entered West Tennessee, 
and recruited several thousand hardy volunteers, 
and with some veteran troops, he formed that in- 
vincible body, known as "Forrest's Cavalry." 

In 1864, he utterly routed General Smith with 
seven thousand men, and General Sherman in co- 
operation, at Okolona and Prairie Mound. 

Forrest then rode through Tennessee to the Ohio 
River, capturing Fort Pillow, Union City, and other 
posts and their garrisons. On June 8, 1864, For- 
rest encountered General Sturgis at Brice's Cross 
Roads, and won a signal victory. Sturgis suffering 
one of the most humiliating defeats of the war, 
losing all his trains and a third of his men. Gene- 
ral Smith renewed the fight, and was again defeated, 
after a desperate battle at Harrisburg, near Tupelo, 
on July 14, 1864. 

His great victory at Tishomingo Creek, like all 
his victories, was won against great odds, showing 
his determination, personal courage and force of 
character, making him one of the most remarkable 
men in the Confederate service and the most famous 
Cavalry Leader of the Confederacy. After his de- 
feat at Harrisburg, General A. J. Smith, with re- 
enforcements, advanced from Memphis, but was 


compelled to retreat by the intrepid Forrest. Then 
for awhile General Forrest played havoc with Fede- 
ral transportation and garrisons in Tennessee, and 
at Johnsonville captured and destroyed six million 
dollars worth of the enemy's supplies, and also a 
gun boat fleet. 

The Federal General Sherman wrote of this, 
"That was a 'feat of arms,' which I must confess, 
excited my admiration." On another occasion, 
Sherman complimented Forrest. When he was 
making his raid through Georgia, Forrest was fol- 
lowing him closely and giving him so much trouble 
in the rear, it has been stated, that General Sher- 
man telegraphed to the War Department at Wash- 
ington "To keep that devil Forrest off my heels, if 
it takes ten thousand men to do it." 

After the fall of Atlanta, he joined General Hood 
at Florence, Alabama, and fought at the bloody bat- 
tle of Franklin and at Nashville. 

As Commander of the Rear Guard of the re- 
treating Confederate Army, Forrest showed those 
heroic qualities, which caused him to be likened to 
the wonderful Marshal Ney, who covered the re- 
treat of the great Napoleon from Moscow. Eu- 
ropean authorities have pronounced Forrest the most 


magnificent Cavalry Officer that America has pro- 

He was promoted Lieutenant-General February, 
1865, and given the duty to guard the frontier from 
Decatur, Alabama, to the Mississippi. 

He made his last fight at Selma, Alabama, and 
there on May 9th surrendered his command. It 
has been stated that he was under fire 179 times 
during the four years of war, and he stated, "That 
his provost" marshal's book would show that he 
had taken; 31,000 prisoners. 

Some writer said, "Forrest was not taught at 
West Point, but he gave lessons to West Point." 

This expression of General Forrest has become 
famous, "War means killing, and the way to kill 
is to get there first with the most men." 

Senator Daniel said of him, "What genius was 
in that wonderful man. He felt the field, as Blind 
Tom touches the keys of the piano." 

Such was the brilliant record of General Forrest 
in that conflict of arms, the War between the 
States, while in peace his allegiance to duty 
and his country was equally pronounced, for dur- 
ing the dark days of Reconstruction, a period 
more terrible even than the War itself, with the Ku 


Klux Klan, of which he was the Supreme Officer, 
the South was redeemed from destruction. 

Many great monuments have been erected to his 
memory, but his greatest monument is erected in 
the hearts of the people of the Southland, whom he 
loved so well and served so faithfully. 

All honor to General Nathan Bedford Forrest, — 
Leader of the Confederate Cavalry, and of the Ku 
Klux Klan. 

Note: — The facts for the above biographical 
sketch were obtained from the Confederate Military 
History, Vol. I.